New Plymouth and around.

This morning (Tuesday) we decided we would move on to Stratford, the start of the Forgotten Highway.  But first a recap of the past few days in and around New Plymouth.

Sunday and we headed off for brunch with Chris & Amanda before they took us to see Te Rewa Rewa Bridge which forms part of the impressive 11km of Coastal Walkway.   

Rewa  rewa  1Rewa  rewa  2

Award winning Te Rewa Rewa Bridge

rewa rewa 3rewa rewa 4

Beautiful from every angle, the 83m long bridge is reminiscent of a breaking wave or a whale skeleton.

coastal walkway  The coastal walkway is well formed, and planted and is a credit to the local community.  For those who are unable to walk the length, then there are mobility scooters freely available!   It would have been a great day for a long walk, however the wind was blowing so fiercely that it was very uncomfortable just being outside.

From there, Roy and Bernice headed into town to check out Puke Ariki, New Plymouth’s impressive museum and library complex on the foreshore.

puke ariki 1puke ariki

Unfortunately we just happened to time our visit to New Plymouth between major exhibits.  Never mind, next time.

Monday and after a relaxing morning we headed in to have a walk around Pukekura Park.  The park covers 52ha (128 acres) is right in the centre of the city.  Pukekura is a fantastic example of botanical gardens with paths meandering through the various landscapes and diverse plantings.  We were a couple of weeks to late to see the rhododendrons in their full glory, however we could still appreciate their beauty.  Although it must be said that our ex neighbour Anne Sim, has a comparable, if not better, rhododendron woodland garden just south of Oamaru. 

fountain 1 fountain 2

Fountain and waterfall in the park, both of these were activated by pushing a strategically situated button which set the pumps going to produce the effect.

goldfishgoldfish just for you James, sorry we could not catch a couple and send them down.

pukekura 1island idyll

pukekura 2one bridge. the path around the lake could be taken as a double figure eight, sharing one lobe, with these two bridges linking the sides of the lake

pukekura 3two bridge

water lillythe water lillies were just starting to bloom

long cloudssculpture in the lily ponds, this one is called Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud.

Situated around the museum and along the Coastal Walkway are a number of stone sculpturees.  Some have association with certain persons, others with tribal affiliation and some with no particular import other than providing a pleasing and thought provoking form. 


 statue 1 statue 2 statue 3 statue 4

And of course, in front of the museum and in the middle of the Coastal Walkway stands the Len Lye inspired Wind Wand.  This was installed for the Millennium celebrations and the red light in the glass bowl at the top of the wand was lit at midnight  at the turn if the century.


This family were enjoying a dip in the river that flows into the see at the centre of the city.  They were practicing their swimming skiills with the surge of the sea into the river mouth counteracting the flow of the river.  Mother was having a job keeping an eye on all four of them.


Tuesday and we are on our way.  First stop was Inglewood where we had been told of some amazing doughnuts to be had at a cafe there, so we thought it was best we stop and investigate.  We can happily report that a full and thorough study was undertaken with samples tasted and yes, they were rather scrummy doughnuts.

And across the road from the cafe is the Fun Ho! museum.   For those who have no idea of Fun Ho!, they are hand made, sand cast in aluminium, tough and durable toys. These iconic New Zealand toys were unique ‘Kiwiana’ made for outdoor use, they do not even rust when buried for years in the sand pit.  Started in the 1930’s by 1982, toy production ceased and in 1987 the factory finally closed after over 50 years of manufacturing. The museum opened in 1990 and since then small scale production has continued.

funho funho 1

Museum  with distinctive Fire Engine on top.

drivingBig kid!

From there it was on to Stratford and to first find a dump station (found and a very good one it is too!) then to find a petrol station with LPG filling capabilities, also done.  Then to find somewhere to park up for the night and the Stratford Golf Club is the perfect spot to stop.  A quick trip down the road to Eltham to restock our cheese supplies before back to the van for the night.


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